THE READING JUNKIE
Member, Billy Bob Blowback Roundtable
The Putin Interview Series / Part 3
TOP CRITICAL REVIEWS & COMMENTARY
There’s the widespread hysteria about Tucker going “soft” on Putin, and I consider this accusation ridiculous. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being friendly and 10 being hostile, I would give this exchange a 4. It was more friendly than hostile, but Tucker did challenge Putin’s statements and try (though unsuccessfully) to redirect the conversation at multiple points. I consider the overall tone of Tucker’s approach to be fairly neutral. Definitely more neutral than any western interview of Putin, Zelensky, Biden, or even aging neoliberal oligarchs like failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. But that’s the problem with our mainstream “news” (I use the term generously). None of these people consider themselves journalists, but information henchmen of the regime. A regime official like Joe Biden or Antony Blinken gets the most absurdly fawning praise and admiration of interviewing them, and with “adversaries” the opposite treatment is applied.
From a journalism standpoint, this approach is ridiculous. The purpose of an interview is to get that person’s viewpoints as coherently as possible. But mainstream western journalists treat the interview as a high school debate club, with half or more of the runtime filled with just this journalist talking over the interviewee and spamming as many regime talking points as possible. Fortunately, Tucker did not do this and that’s probably at least part of the reason Putin accepted an interview with him in the first place.
Tucker went into the interview expecting surface-level explanation of current events, and that shows in his prompts. Basically, what was the trigger for Russia intervening in Ukraine in February 2022. In other words, what is Russia’s history with Ukraine and where did it go wrong? So naturally, Putin gave a 30+ minute synopsis starting in the 9th Century. A college-level dissertation on the history of Rus caught some viewers by surprise, myself included, and it is useful for American audiences who don’t know anything about Russia besides the revisionist history we have been fed for decades. So for those willing to listen, Putin’s lecture was good. Even if this stream of encyclopediac knowledge went over a lot of people’s heads, it at least delivers home the point that Putin is highly educated and knowledgeable. Tucker was taken aback by this and objected a few times, but Putin reminded him that he had claimed to want a serious discussion, not a talk show. And that I think is why this interview was so significant, because it is a serious in-depth discussion, not a cheap talk show, or surface level pop history lesson on TikTok.
It would be possible for an American president to give an equally lengthy and in-depth [account] of American history going back 1,000 years, starting in Britain. The exact starting point of such a history lecture would be a bit arbitrary, but 1066 would make sense. The death of Edward the Confessor led to a power struggle for the throne between Saxons, Vikings, and Normans. Harold crushed the Viking army at Stamford bridge, and was himself defeated and killed by the Normans at Hastings, making this a year a crucial point in world history. Other major inflection points in our history would likely be the Baron wars and the signing of Magna Carta, Henry VIII founding the Anglican church, the first English colonies in the new world, the civil war between cavaliers and roundheads, the French and Indian War, the War of 1812, and so on. Such events would be significant in shaping the population of white Anglo Saxon Protestants (WASPs) who make up the majority of Americans today.
Could Biden or any other person in his administration give such a 30 minute lecture, let alone from memory? Maybe, but probably not.
Some other thoughts:
Putin expressed his frustration that he literally does not know who to talk to in the US government, and that reflects American anxieties that our “democracy” is a masquerade for a persistent state of technocrats who rule and make all the decisions in the background. The main problem with this is that these shadowy technocrats buried in the US capitol and the Pentagon are near-impossible for American citizens or foreign leaders alike to access properly. Tucker seemed confused about Putin’s statement about joining NATO but I think it is important. It doesn’t actually matter if Russia would have decided on joining NATO or not. The point is that Putin asked Clinton, received a “no” for an answer, but that answer wasn’t coming from Clinton, it was coming from people behind Clinton who were making all the decisions, but these technocrats were inaccessible to Putin. This point was further reinforced by the conversation regarding US-sponsored violent in the Norther Caucasus. The CIA told their Russian counterparts in no uncertain terms that these ambitions to stir up unrest served the interests of the US government, regardless of what our president happened to say.
American corporate media took this last point personally, as demonstrated by this article on CNN:
In some cases, Carlson even fed into Putin’s narratives. For instance, Putin advanced an absurd deep state-style conspiracy theory that the U.S. government is not controlled by its elected leaders but by unelected powers at the Central Intelligence Agency who direct the president like a puppet from the shadows.
“So, twice you’ve described US presidents making decisions and then being undercut by their agency heads,” Carlson said after Putin made the assertion, earnestly summing up the Russian leader’s mendacious narrative. “So it sounds like you’re describing a system that’s not run by the people who are elected, in your telling?”
“That’s right, that’s right,” Putin replied.
Carlson never followed up to challenge the absurdity.
Tucker brought up his usual dislike of China and I’m glad that Putin shut this down as thoroughly as he did. This is also beneficial for right-leaning Americans who admire or at least respect Putin. Russia has a 1,000 km border with China and have coexisted for centuries. If Russia can do it, then the USA can too and there’s no need for saber-rattling.
Naturally, CNN doesn’t bother to explain why Putin was wrong or try to disprove him. They just dismiss the whole affair as a conspiracy theory, which is pretty solid evidence that what Putin said was 100% true.
One attribute of this interview that is very clear just from watching it was that there was no prior discussion of the topics or specific questions to be asked. There could be any number of reasons for this (or no reason at all), but I think it is deliberate. In my previous post I brought up the possibility of someone wanting to prosecute Tucker under the Espionage Act, and the communications leading up to the interview were one of the exact pieces of evidence that was mentioned. I am sure Tucker’s interview came only after long consultations with lawyers, and it was shaped to make prosecution as unlikely and difficult as possible. Evan Gershkovich also came up in discussion, and that might have been part of the argument Tucker would make to prove that his Putin interview had good intentions. Speaking of Gershkovich, I find it interesting that Tucker spent a fairly large amount of time on the topic of his detainment, which to me suggests that Tucker is genuinely concerned about him. However, Putin’s overall point on the matter was correct. Prisoner negotiations tend to go a lot more smoothly when they’re not sensationalized in the media and used as political fodder, which Biden has insisted on doing with every single detained American who checks the right diversity boxes.
The most important question is also the most difficult one. What will be the short and long term impacts of the interview? I do not think this will have any impact on opposing camps in the US political establishment who have already made up their minds on the Ukraine issue. But this will influence public opinion. For millions of American citizens, this is the first time in their lives they’ve heard the unadulterated Russian perspective, and that is in of itself significant. The interview has over 100 million views (and the exact number is hard to count because it has been shared so far and wide), and is already being translated into other languages and broken up into digestible sound bytes for people not interested in watching the whole video. And this is part of the reason I think it was good for Putin to focus on such broad historical topics because that makes the video evergreen, it will still be relevant in 5 years even if the conflict in Ukraine has already ended. This will likely be remembered as one of the most significant interviews in the first half of the 21st Century.
All text in Reading Junkie posts are free to share or republish without permission, and I highly encourage my fellow bloggers to do so. Please be courteous and link back to the original.
If you like my content, please consider supporting the blog with a donation. I greatly appreciate my sponsors and it is encouraging to find out that there are so many people interested in helping support my meandering adventures around the Russian Federation.
Also feel free to connect with me on Quora (I sometimes share unique articles there).
(NOTEWORTHY COMMENTS (ORIGINAL THREAD))
Print this article
The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of The Greanville Post. However, we do think they are important enough to be transmitted to a wider audience.
If you find the above COMPELLING, pass it on! Become an “influence multiplier”!
Unfortunately, most people take this site for granted.
DONATIONS HAVE ALMOST DRIED UP…
PLEASE send what you can today!
JUST USE THE BUTTON BELOW
|Did you sign up yet for our FREE bulletin?
It’s super easy! Sign up to receive our FREE bulletin. Get TGP selections in your mailbox. No obligation of any kind. All addresses secure and never sold or commercialised.
^3000US citizens have no real political representation.
We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.
I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.
What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.
And its multitude of minions and lackeys.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License